There will come a day when attending a video conference with a pen in your hand is going to mark you out as a time-waster. You’re certainly going to look a little tech naïve. After all, there are a range of video conference meeting notes apps currently available that will digitally record and instantly share all the important points that come up during a conversation, and the tech is only going to get more intelligent as the years pass.
So, why the pen? With a meeting notes app doing all the transcribing work, your colleagues would be justified in assuming you’re going to spend the meeting drawing caricatures of them, doodling cubes in your notebook, or scribbling lines for your movie script.
Automated, accurate, and networked meeting notes apps are going to become a standard feature in video conferencing as business embraces tech that lets people use their calls for discussion and decision, rather than mundane administrative housekeeping.
What Is a Meeting Notes App?
Meeting notes apps for video calls perform a very simple task in a very efficient manner. In their most basic form, they help you record and organize what goes on in a video meeting. Like digital journals, they let you type or record video and audio summaries, quotes, and actions items–anything that comes up in a meeting that you’ll need to recall or pass on to others.
The best versions, however, do the actual note-taking for you and work directly from within your video conference platform so you don’t have to switch between screens and take your attention away from the discussion at hand.
San Francisco company Hugo, for instance, recently announced its meeting notes app is now available within Zoom video calling software. It was also added to the Atlassian workplace collaboration group, but that has subsequently been bought by industry darling Slack, which was already Hugo compatible.
The Hugo app can be launched within a Zoom call–alternatively, you can launch a call from the Hugo service–and used for either private note-taking or as a shared group document everyone can access. An audio recording of the meeting and a transcript are available after the meeting adjourns, and attendees can view their notes alongside the playback.
What happens after those notes have been composed is the real gift Hugo brings–and the reason you’ll never take a pen into a video call again.
Skip the Meeting and Still Get the Information
Meeting apps turn a conversation into chunks of digital information. As we’ve learned from the rise of the internet, digital information can be sent anywhere, to anyone, fast. So, meeting notes apps like Hugo use cloud computing to disseminate the salient points of your meeting to everyone who needs it. The app can be used to create and send updates and action items to colleagues who missed the video call; it can automatically add new information to a CRM; it can access the pathways of a Slack network to target specific teams; and it can integrate with other business apps such as Salesforce, Jira, or Trello. And you don’t have to wait until the meeting is over to start sending out the information; you can transmit live updates through the app to those outside the call.
Meeting notes apps are great at helping you distill and pass on information, but what’s really exciting about the new generation of software is that it’s becoming more intelligent and more automated.
Microsoft’s recent Ignite conference in Orlando featured a lot of crowing from the tech giant about the success of its new video calling platform for business, Teams–the company is making a big shift away from Skype for Business and is understandably trying to convince everyone the transition is going smoothly. The conference also served as the unveiling of a new Teams feature: automated video meeting transcription. The soon-to-be-released feature will create real-time captions for live meetings and generate a time-coded transcript of every idea and debate that takes place over a Teams call.
That level of automation, combined with a distribution network like Hugo, should really make a difference in how accurately, and how soon, information is passed from the meeting room to staff workstations.
And there’s more.
As VC Daily reported earlier this year, video conference vendor BlueJeans has incorporated an automated meeting transcription service into its own platform. That development comes with an added benefit: its AI note-taker, Eva, can pinpoint the most important parts of a meeting and highlight them within the subsequent transcript. Now that computer intelligence has reached the level of identifying the salient points of a human conversation without prompting–and BlueJeans’ device can be alerted to what’s important manually, should you doubt its digital comprehension–note-taking should be well and truly left to the machines.
It won’t be long before you’ll be able to have key strategic decisions passed around the office within seconds of an accord being struck within a live meeting. So tell us again–what’s the point of bringing that pen into the video conference room?
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